Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Overager prospects - as of the end of July

Shane McColgan:

I really like this deal.  If I was in charge, this is one of the guys I would be going after.  Saskatoon has something like 10 overagers - they almost all have to be available.

Most of my opinion on this guy stems from that 6 game series with Kelowna a few years back.  I mean, that series was largely Adam Brown & Tyson Barrie - but McColgan was huge in that series.  I want to say he was on a line with Franko, who was also really good.  Sometimes I get the feeling he's been riding that playoff run ever since, but looking at his numbers - they are pretty good, and oddly consistent:  He was within 3 points of leading his team in scoring as a 16 - and was the leading scorer the next two years.  He's maintained approximate a point a game pace for his entire junior career:  Kelowna, Saskatoon, regular season, and playoffs.

The Rangers took him in the 5th round, and passed on signing him.  One could make comparisons to Troy Rutowski, as he just went through a similar situation.  McColgan should be motivated, and this forward group should put up a ton of goals this year.  Of course, is there room to add a top 6 forward, with the guys who need ice time?  That's a longer discussion, and a nice problem to have (see also, Jonathan Milhouse).

Garrett Haar:

I've been following this story since he was deemed academically ineligible - I'm guessing that Drinnan posted it first.  Haar's rights belonging to Medicine Hat left them with 6 overage candidates, so there's room for movement there, and voila. 

Haar was picked 4 spots from the end of the draft, which is the same neighborhood as the winningest playoff goalie in WHL history.  Take a look at Dylan's piece about Haar - he's got some good links on there.  If you piece them together, I get the impression the Capitals took a flyer on him with that 7th round pick, and shortly thereafter decided they really liked him.  Seems like the Caps found him a college, rather than the player finding the right fit.  This appears to have alienated his USHL team as well as his NCAA team.

Haar's running out of options at this point - so he's got to make the most of this year.  Guys who run hockey teams often times love the reclamation project:  "I can straighten this player out.  He just needs the proper guidance...."   Not making grades doesn't concern me all that much - many of us aren't cut out for university studies.  I'm a big second-chance guy.  I feel that this country is founded on second-chances.  That being said, this Andy Murray quote is fairly damning:

“I met with Garrett more in the two years that he was here than I’ve met with any player I’ve ever coached in my career in wanting to help him,” said Murray, who has more than 20 years of NHL coaching experience. “We feel for Garrett and his family, but ultimately our team comes first.”
I poked around the Caps website, and didn't see any obvious connections between Mike Johnston and their front office, but that doesn't mean they don't have a working relationship - and if they don't already I'm sure they have started one.

The 'Hawks have stayed away from players who could be distractions in the past (Charles Inglis, I'm looking at you).  I'm optimistic that MJ can handle it.

 Cody Thiel:

 Let me just say - I've never heard of this dude.  The only reason I'm aware of him is that Alan Caldwell has him listed as Winterhawks property on his overager shuffle post.  According to hockeydb, he's got 105 games of WHL experience, albeit nondiscript service.  I see no harm in bringing him into camp and seeing what happens.

The 'Hawks have had success in finding late bloomers & players that were overlooked lately:  Joey Baker, Adam de Champlain, Joe Mahon, Shaun MacPherson - hell, no one wanted to give Ryan Johansen a shot in this league.  I'm not sure what MJ could teach him that Brent Sutter didn't already, but you never know in juniors. 

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